The Weekly Dispatch - 26 June 2022
A polling update, an election breakdown, LaREM move to enshrine abortion in the constitution, Elizabeth Borne tries to resign, the groups elect their leaders, and Macron goes to Brussels.
The Weekly Dispatch is your weekly summary of the major events taking place in French politics, published on Sundays in order to give you the perfect way to catch up with French news and events.
A quick polling update today, with IFOP Opinion having asked French people who they believed had won the legislative elections.
Firstly, 46% of those polled said that the Ensemble! coalition were the winners, and there was a relatively equal spread across the parties in support with this, with only a majority of Rassemblement National, Reconquetes, France Insoumise, and Europe Ecologie les Verts supporters disagreeing with the statement.
29% of those polled believed that the Rassemblement National had won the elections, and this was primarily a popular view with those who came from the far right.
21% of those polled believed that the NUPES were the victors of the elections, with this primarily being focused in those who support La France Insoumise, and with minority support from Europe Ecologie les Verts.
Finally, 4% of those polled believe that Les Républicains won the elections, which even I won’t try to explain.
A Legislatives 2022 Breakdown
For those who are looking for a breakdown of what happened around the finale of the Legislatives 2022 Elections, look no further! You can find the breakdown of this important election right here:
Renaissance Moves to Protect Abortion
Following the shocking, but anticipated, decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade and removing the constitutional right to abortion, there was a clear backlash across much of the world, and some interesting moves in France.
The leader of the La République en Marche (LaREM) / Renaissance group, Aurore Bergé, announced the submission of a bill that would enshrine "respect for abortion in our Constitution", after the historic decision of the Supreme Court of the United States.
9 judges have therefore decided on the lives of thousands of women who each year will no longer have access to a fundamental right.
Our freedoms are fragile. Even more so when it comes to women's rights. In France, we make them progress. We will continue.
For those interest in the likelihood of this being successful, there’s a relatively good chance as this is not only a bill that will be supported by the current majority party in the Assemblée National, but it will very likely be supported by La France Insoumise, the Socialists, the Ecologists, and potentially event the more moderate wing of Les Républicains.
Elisabeth Borne Presents her Resignation
As can be customary following a legislative election, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne met with French president Emmanuel Macron in order to present her resignation, which was immediately refused.
Traditionally, this is to give a renewed legitimacy to the prime minister and to allow the president to show renewed faith in the leader of the parliament.
Firstly, it has to be noted that the President is under no obligation to accept the resignation of the French PM, and was fully within his rights to refuse this.
However, the reason he chose to refuse this resignation, “so that the government can stay on task”, was curious, as media reports have been flying around all week that the president was planning to either fire her “nicely”, or was planning to use her as a scapegoat for the perceived electoral loss.
However, as we learned this weekend, Elisabeth Borne will remain as French Prime Minister and has been tasked with forming a "new government of action" in early July, with the ministers who lost in their election bids expected to stand down
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The Groups Have Their Leaders
The presidents of nine parliamentary groups have now been elections, and they are as follows:
Aurore Bergé - President of the group of La République en Marche (which will be renamed Renaissance)
Marine Le Pen - President of that of the Rassemblement National
Olivier Marleix - President of the group Les Républicains
André Chassaigne - President of the Democratic and Republican Left group (communists and relatives)
Boris Vallaud - President of the Parti Socialiste group
Mathilde Panot - President of the La France insoumise group
Jean-Paul Mattei - President of the MoDem group
Laurent Marcangeli - President of the Horizons group
Julien Bayou and Cyrielle Chatelain - "co-chairs" of the “Environmental” group
Macron Goes to Brussels
And to top the week off, this week saw Emmanuel Macron heading to Brussels for the EU Council meeting where history was made, with Ukraine and Moldova being given candidacy status.
However, he also made some statements related to the national political situation while he was there, responding to some of the critiques he had been targeted with following his speech on Wednesday evening:
"I believe that's what Italy and Germany are doing and that's what we will do, what we will do with all the governing parties, to be able to build either a coalition or [group] agreements on texts to move forward on a clear agenda…[France] knows how to compromise and so does yours truly"
If you want to read through what happened at the EU Council, check out this article below:
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